Bengaluru: SBI Foundation, Microsoft, and the American India Foundation (AIF) through their joint collaboration under Project SAMEIP hosted the 4th in a series of round tables, on “Accessibility, Technology, and Career Pathways for Persons with Disabilities”. India is home to 26.8 million Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). While 36 per cent of them are employable, they face enormous physical, attitudinal, and informational barriers to equal opportunities at work. They, especially women PwDs also experience higher rates of unemployment, economic inactivity, and insufficient social protection which is key to reducing extreme poverty.
Countering these impediments, under ‘SAMEIP’, Microsoft and SBI Foundation bring in thought leadership and tech expertise, including best practices on accessibility, to enable career pathways for underserved young persons with disabilities in the digitally transforming BFSI sector.
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The conference brought together over 100 industry experts and thought leaders such as Prateek Madhav, CEO-ATF Labs – Moderator; Roy C Thomas, D&I Lead, NASSCOM Foundation; Vivek Mishra, Director-Support Engagement, Microsoft India; Meha Grover, Director – Chief of Staff, Societe Generale Solution Centre; Nafeesa Begum, Chief Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Officer, First AM; Sushmita Jain, Global Disability Inclusion Lead, Wipro, among others to strengthen dialogue, increase employment opportunities and create a thriving environment for persons with disabilities (PwDs). The conference discourse focused on breaking barriers, adopting digital technologies, and retention of PwDs in the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector.
Speaking at the event Lalit Mohan, President & Chief Operating Officer at SBI Foundation, said,
Today’s economy relies heavily on technology for growth and success, but this growth is incomplete without the participation of the talented pool of PwDs. While SBI is leading the technological advancement in the banking sector, we at SBIF are committed to promoting the inclusion and empowerment of PwDs in the BFSI sector.
Gunjan Patel, Head of Philanthropy and Community Engagement, at Microsoft India, said,
Microsoft India aspires to build and nurture an inclusive culture that encourages greater participation of people with disabilities using world-class tech resources. In collaboration with the SBI Foundation, our objective is to prepare PwD youths for career pathways in the BFSI industry. We are excited to partner with organizations on our quest to make the world more inclusive.
Highlighting the critical need for collaboration towards inclusion and participation of PwDs in the workforce, Kamesh Sanghi, Director, Livelihoods, American India Foundation said,
Initiating and promoting multi-lateral dialogues around building technology-enabled inclusive workplace has been at the core of AIF’s vision to support persons with disabilities under Project SAMEIP.
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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.